Bayern Munich fans on Arsenal: ‘How can you pay so much for football?’

Bayern fans protest banners in the Emirates away section as they refused to watch the first five mi

Bayern fans protest banners in the Emirates away section as they refused to watch the first five minutes. Picture: Adam Davy/PA Wire - Credit: PA

German football fans have been praised after staging a boycott of Arsenal’s Emirates Stadium.

The majority of Bayern Munich supporters, disgusted at the £64 entrance fee charged by the Gunners, protested by refusing to watch the first five minutes of last night’s Champions League game, which Arsenal won 2-0.

Instead, the Bavarian fans, who can get a season ticket in Munich for £140, unfurled a huge banner in the away stand section reading: “£64 A TICKET. BUT WITHOUT FANS FOOTBALL IS NOT WORTH A PENNY!”

The Bayern fans were warmly applauded by Arsenal fans when they entered the concourse five minutes’ late. Matchday ticket prices for Gunners fans go up to £97, according to the BBC’s recent “price of football” study.

Rolf Blum, 54, was one Bayern fan taking part in the protest. He told the Gazette before the match: “It’s a joke. These clubs get so much money, and they charge this much. How can you [English fans] pay so much to watch football? It’s incredible.

“We don’t understand why it has to be so expensive in a group stage match. It would maybe be more understandable later in the competition. We paid ¤4.50 in Ukraine, and this is ¤100. I think ¤40-¤50 would be enough.”

His friend Paul Koetter, 58, added: “What about younger fans? My 16-year-old son would love to come to a game like this, but how would he afford it? It means many people are priced out of games.

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“This is the first time we have protested in this way. We are a voice against the tendency of football to get more and more expensive.

“I don’t think it will have an impact, but at least we are taking the chance to stand against this.”

Not all Bayern fans were convinced by the protest, however.

Andreas Unsinn, 33, said: “I don’t care about it! I just think it’s stupid.

“It’s probably the highest I’ve ever paid for a ticket, but I don’t agree with the walkout. You have made the choice to pay for the ticket – why would you not want to watch the game?”

Michael Brunskill, of the Football Supporters’ Federation, which runs a campaign seeking a £20 maximum price for away tickets, said today: “It’s quite unusual for fans to do a staged walkout, but fair play to the Bayern Munich fans for drawing attention to the issue. It worked really well in that sense.

“Arsenal can be very expensive, but to be fair, so are a lot of other clubs in the Premier League and even the Championship. They are not the only club to do this.”

An Arsenal spokesman said: “We respected the wishes of some Bayern Munich supporters to demonstrate and worked closely with Bayern Munich and the Metropolitan Police to ensure the safety of everyone involved.

“We would like to point out that 50 per cent of our general admission tickets throughout the season are priced £40 or below.”